00 Volkswagen Beetle Gls - Clean - Above Average Auto Check - No Accidents on 2040-cars
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Auto blogFri, 18 Dec 2009 19:58:00 EST
Honda's Commercial of the Decade: "Grrr" - Click above to watch video
The mad men at Adweek recently voted for the Commercial of the Decade (Super Bowl commercials not included) and Honda took top honors over memorable ads from the last ten years by companies like Nike, Budweiser and Sony. That's not a big surprise considering Honda often puts a huge amount of effort into its on-air spots. However, the Japanese automaker didn't win for the commercial you might have expected: "Cog." Though Honda's famous commercial that breaks down a European Accord Tourer into a Rube Goldberg-esque machine was also a finalist, it was beaten by another Honda commercial called "Grrr" that's narrated by Garrison Keillor of all people. You've probably never seen it, but you can after the jump.
Volkswagen also made the list of finalists, but the particular ad chosen out of all the comical VW ads we've seen was unexpected as well. Most surprising carmaker with a commercial in the finals: Saturn. Who knew...
Reports in October 2012 claimed Volkswagen had begun investigating the creation of its own budget brand. This came after having failed to purchase Malaysian car company Proton or produce a meaningful partnership with Suzuki, and after watching Renault-Nissan make piles of euro on Dacia and plot the return of Datsun.
For VW, more important than the question of what to call it was how to build it profitably and in a way that didn't damage the VW brand. According to a report in Autocar, a satisfactory answer still hasn't been found. The hurdle is how to hit "'necessary' quality and safety levels" at the price points needed to make the venture worthwhile. At the time of the 2012 report, German outlet Der Spiegel said VW was trying to get prices down to 6,000 to 8,000 euro ($7,784 to $10,379 US), about two thousand to four thousand euro under the price of the VW Up and in line with the cost of a 6,790-euro Dacia Sandero in Germany.
In March 2013, VW announced, "We want to bring a true budget car to the market in China in the foreseeable future," the most concrete move in that direction after years of planning to make a decision. Working with local Chinese maker FAW, it was predicted that the vehicle in question would appear around 2016, but as of November last year a final vote on it needed to wait until this year because "We are still working on the cost side" and profit possibilities for a car that "has to be durable, it has to be precise, it has to be safe."
Volkswagen is staging a massive, worldwide recall that's already grown from 1.68 million to 2.64 million vehicles and covers three different issues across a number of vehicles. We already reported on 61,000 Tiguans getting recalled over lighting issues - that was just in the US. Globally, however, VW will be recalling 800,000 Tiguans, according to Automotive News, with the focus on CUVs built between 2008 and 2011. The issue with the Tiguan relates to a simple fuse swap, so this is rather unremarkable, aside from the sheer number of vehicles being fixed. The real, troubling issues relate to gearboxes and pickups.
239,000 Amarok pickups (pictured right) are being recalled over fuel leaks, while 1.6 million vehicles are being recalled to swap the synthetic oil in dual-clutch transmissions with mineral oil. Now, the transmission issue is one for the global Volkswagen Group to address, not just the VW brand - vehicles from Audi, Škoda and Seat use the same seven-speed DSG and are covered under the recall, as well.
Why the switch from synthetic to mineral oil? Apparently, using the synthetic oil in a DSG and then subjecting it to stop-and-go conditions or heavy loads in a hot and humid climate can lead to electronic malfunctions, according to a Volkswagen press release. The switch, from the sounds of it, is largely a preventative measure.